Republican Congressional Aide Says Obama Daughters Lack Role Models

The staffer wrote that the first daughters should “dress like you deserve respect,” then apologized, according to a Tennessee newspaper.
Photograph By: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A Republican congressional staffer is contemplating what it means to be classy after receiving criticism for an online rant against Sasha and Malia Obama.

Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for Representative Stephen Fincher, wrote on Facebook Friday that President Barack Obama's daughters should “try showing a little class” after their less-than-enthusiastic appearance at Wednesday’s White House turkey pardon, according to the Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, Tenn.

She added that the girls should respect their roles as members of the first family, even though “your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

Lauten also took issue with the outfits that Malia and Sasha wore to the event. “Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar,” she wrote. 

Among the online pushback: “[W]hy is she even discussing 13- and 16-year-old girls being at a bar anyway? They’re the Obama sisters, not the Bush twins,” wrote Demetria Lucas at The Root, referring to former President George W. Bush's daughters' alcohol-related citations.

Lauten did not respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg Politics. She apologized for her comments in a subsequent Facebook post after “many hours of prayer, talking to my parents, and re-reading my words online,” according to the newspaper. “Please know, those judgmental feelings truly have no place in my heart.”

This isn’t the first time the Obama daughters have been attacked over perceptions that they weren't properly representing themselves or the country. In 2009, commenters on the conservative blog Free Republic hurled racist comments at a then-11-year-old Malia because she wore a t-shirt with a peace sign and her hair in twists during a trip to Rome.

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